Why International Women’s Day matters to the coffee industry
Women are essential to the coffee supply chain – but too often their contributions go unrecognized and unrewarded. Disenfranchisement and gender inequity are perpetuated through a myriad of economic, systemic, and cultural issues (from the insidious to the overt).
However, through hard work and persistence, we’re beginning to see a powerful (and empowering) change across the industry. These inspiring initiatives are fueled by new (and overdue) research on women in coffee, which gives us critical data to measure real impact.
But there is still a long way to go.
By William (Bill) Murray, President & CEO, National Coffee Association
“The farmer has to be an optimist, or he wouldn’t be a farmer.”
– Will Rogers, U.S. Social Commentator, 1879-1935
More than any other pursuit, successful farming depends on “external” factors. Successful farming depends upon some things that can’t be controlled easily, and some things that can’t be controlled at all.
Grounds for Health, an international NGO dedicated to the prevention of cervical cancer in developing countries, is embarking on a large fundraising campaign and it began with a bang. A very generous supporter offered to match every donation received before January 2018, up to $200,000.
Thanks to strong local health partners and coffee industry support, Grounds for Health has successfully screened over 80,000 women and treated more than 6,000 women in low resource settings since 1996.
Hurricane Harvey continues to batter the Gulf with heavy rain and historic flooding, as the most powerful storm to hit the mainland U.S. in over a decade. More than 33,000 people were in shelters as of Thursday, according to the American Red Cross.
And the devastation isn’t over yet. An estimated 12 million people will be directly affected as the storm heads from Texas into Louisiana. The states of Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky also forecast to see rain and potential flooding over the next few days.
“Our neighbors all across the country reached out to NYC after 9/11 and Superstorm Sandy. We’ll never forget their kindness, especially now during their time of need,” says William M. Murray, CEO, NCA. “We will continue to keep the people affected by Harvey in our thoughts, today and during the recovery ahead. And we encourage everyone to help in whatever ways they can, no matter how small.”
The coffee community’s spirit of support and generosity is needed now more than ever. Make your donation to the Red Cross now, and share additional suggestions in the comments below.
The following is a guest post submitted to The First Pull. See our guest post guidelines.
By Thomas Jastermsky, Holy Joe’s Café
For the troops out in the field, even just a cup of coffee can bring the taste of home. Having a moment of down time with fellow active duty military personnel can help alleviate stress and build camaraderie.
Since 2006, Holy Joe’s Café has been sending free coffee and supplies to deployed U.S. military chaplains on military bases around the world. Here, anyone on the base — from NATO medical teams to Special Operating Forces — can stop in to relax and share in a taste of home. All are welcome, no matter their faith or background.
“Every time they have a cup of coffee, they are reminded that somebody cares about them. Even though I may only walk through the unit a couple times a month, the Chaplains Corps presence is felt on a daily basis, which is huge,” said Chaplain (Capt.) Keith Manry, 36th Wing chaplain.
Gender equity is good for the coffee business.
The Partnership for Gender Equity (PGE) believes that vibrant farming communities are the key to producing better coffee, and more of it. Therefore, they’re working to address this issue through large-scale collaboration, standardized best practices, and stronger data – starting with the report, “The Way Forward: Accelerating Gender Equity in Coffee Value Chains.”
During a recent NCA webinar, “Gender Equity: Strengthening the Links of the Coffee Supply Chain,” industry experts Kimberly Easson, Samantha Veide, and Chad Trewick discussed key findings, required resources, and where the industry can go from here.
Four highlights emerged from the research:
The theme of the National Coffee Association 2017 Convention is “innovation” – inspired not only by our host city Austin, TX, but the transformations and transitions we’re seeing across the coffee industry.
Wherever it’s found, innovation can be fueled by the power of “weak connections” (and strong coffee). In other words, exposure to fresh perspectives through conversation and acquaintances – such as networking with more than 700 coffee industry executives – helps your brain combine different ideas in new ways.
Because often, inspiration comes from the most unlikely places. For instance: leftover soap can catalyze life-saving change.
Here, Derreck Kayongo, Global Soap Project Founder & CEO of the Center for Civil and Human Rights, shares how learning about the hospitality industry’s considerable waste led him to create a global humanitarian initiative.
By Nikki Seibert Kelley for the Bee Cause Project
“In the end, we only conserve what we love, we only love what we understand, and we understand only what we are taught.”
Under the dabbled light of a subtropical forest, the sweet smell from coffee flowers entices one of java’s smallest customers: the honeybee.
Honeybees are attracted to coffee flowers for their sugary, high-quality nectar. According to recent studies, visits from pollinators have been shown to increase coffee yields by as much as 50%.
The 5 Principles of Elite Performers – and 6 Tenants to Live By
Editor’s note: Jason Redman, former Navy SEAL, author of “The Trident,” and founder of SOF Spoken, delivered the keynote presentation at the NCA 2016 Annual Convention in San Diego. He shared a story about his journey into Iraq and back – immediately putting any bad day at the office in perspective. (Pro tip: “If you’re not being shot at, it’s probably not so bad.”)
Due to overwhelming response from Convention attendees, we’re posting the following letter Redman wrote to Bill Murray, NCA CEO, following the event.
Dear Bill and all the amazing members of the NCA:
I wanted thank all of you for your amazing hospitality and FANTASTIC reception I received at the NCA annual conference.
From every company and individual I met, I was treated like a member of the coffee family. Thank you all for allowing me to come in as a keynote speaker and share my story and message. I truly feel blessed to be able to spread my message of the five principles of elite performers.
Due to time restraints I was unable to cover my six tenets that I strive to follow in my personal life, so I have included a summary of both the five principles and six tenets for everyone’s review.
Cervical cancer is a nearly 100% treatable disease, and yet in the next 15 years it is expected to kill six million women – 90% of whom will live in developing countries.
By Pam Kahl, Vice President, Communications and Development, Grounds For Health
In the last 18 months, Grounds for Health has quietly reorganized to meet our goal of reaching 50,000 women annually by 2020.
And the results from 2015 indicate that we are starting to realize this vision of scale. Continue reading